Millennial guest series. Alisha Lesniak from the USA

Welcome to Business Raw by IAM Millennial guest series! 

I find inspirations in Millennials thinking of today and the future, as well as how they form their professional choices. The first article in this series was with my oldest son and his girlfriend from Shanghai. In this article Alisha Lesniak from the USA shares how her choices have been formed and what she is aiming for. THANK YOU, Alisha! If you are interested in sharing your story, let me know at


As a long-time lover of animals, it was natural for me to want to pursue them as a career path. While I knew that I always wanted to work with animals, it took me a long time to determine how exactly I would do so. I attended Cal Poly for college and graduated with a degree in animal science. The year following my graduation found me living and working in New York, New Orleans, and California. I worked in zoos, animal shelters, and veterinary hospitals.

While each job fulfilled me in its own way, I slowly began to realize that despite not wanting to admit, money was more important than I had once thought. That believe it or not, you actually needed to make money to live a comfortable life.

And unfortunately for me, these jobs just weren’t satisfying that. I am a person of many passions and somehow tend to gravitate towards the more expensive ones. I recently bought my first horse, and am training for my first triathlon. I picked up polo while in college, and since graduating only have the time and money to play every so often.

A polo tournament last summer in Gilroy, CA with my horse, Beowulf.

After talking with a close family friend I started to think more seriously about going into sales. Specifically, veterinary pharmaceuticals, where I could still work amongst the industry I was most passionate about. After applying, I found rather quickly that this is a very competitive job market and my lack of sales skills just wasn’t going to cut it. I sacrificed my animal job at the time to take an entry level sales position. I currently spend my days calling car dealerships to sell them on our auto finance lead program. Never in a million years would I have seen myself in this position. However, I am working towards my ultimate goal, and have learned immeasurable skills in sales and business in the mean time.

I think it’s important for millennials to be open-minded in today’s job market. Our dream jobs are obtainable, but not always out of the gate. We have to remind ourselves of the bigger picture to get where we want.

I enjoy learning new things! This is from my second bike ride. 


I just found this interesting article by BCG discussing new trends in CEO appointments and succession plans.

Take a look at this checklist of the profile of the modern CEO and see how you are doing. You and your board should really think about how you create the CEO appointment succession list in order to take your company one step further ahead of competition, and the article gives some great examples of this.


Good reading, and I would love your point of view too!

Your IQ may be substantially reduced when under tough stress. Spend the Easter break to recharge

I am sure all of us have experienced moments when we are not able to respond properly to employees and colleagues due to 100 other thoughts and high stress levels. Or you have experienced intelligent colleagues and bosses responding surprisingly dumb in conversations you initiate. The Norwegian journalist in Dagens Næringsliv, Eva Grinde, has a well written article about the theme, read it here. She is referring to “Overloaded Circuits” article in Harvard Business Review: “In survival mode , the manager is robbed of his flexibility, his sense of humor, his ability to deal with the unknown. He desperately wants to kill the metaphorical tiger”.

Easter vacation is approaching and we can all get a break to recharge and plan how to be smarter in communication with our teams. Wish you all a good Easter! I will be on the track in this picture 🙂


Communication – the human connection (H2H) – is the key to success!

Business Raw

image I took this picture in the Gustav Vigeland park in Oslo, Norway.

Think about a positive connection with someone – at home or at work this past week. How did you feel? My guess is that you felt great and wanted more of it. Not a big surprise that company cultures growing such good relationships better than others are winning in the market place.

Did you know that H2H (Human to Human) is now replacing B2C (Business to Consumer) and B2B (Business to Business)? Because it is all about human connections, read more about it here.

Think about how you and your company strengthen communication and the human connection. And share it with us here.

Have a wonderful Sunday.

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I put my loyalty and investments into companies, products and services that I like and trust. Often this is about a personal relationship. One I trust watch my interests proactively – on my preferences. Sometimes that involves human contact, but not always.

Think about where you prefer to shop and receive your services.

  • From who did you buy your last car? Why?
  • Where do you like to get your sports equipment? Why?
  • From who did you receive your last dentist and doctor services? Why?
  • What restaurant did you last go to? Why?
  • What hotel did you last stay in? Why?
  • Where do you typically buy your groceries? Why?
  • What advisors do you use? Why?

My guess is that you have an emotional link – either with a person or a ”system” that takes care of you and your needs. Low price, high service levels, sustainability, appealing core values, additional services etc. The outperforming companies are transforming to deliver such an emotional connection through signature customer experiences. Because we know this is a major factor in developing results.

Your advanced analytics, loyalty program, great CRM and HR systems may help you to generate leads and bring the customer to the store/ your business. But how are these initiatives followed up consistently throughout the customer touch points? Are you creating the emotional connection?

I instantly fell in love with Wegmans Food Market. ”One of the best places to work” works!

Why? Not only because they have a store offer that appeals, but because the employees are shining of satisfaction and with a beyond service attitude. No doubt that the ranking of Wegmans as ”one of the best places to work” works! Their organization seems to be very well personal connected and geared towards the customer. That is the secret and success formula. And this is what differentiate the best. So easy and so hard.

The need for reinvention to serve the customer – from transactions to relationships.

In this article I describe the need for reinvention to serve the customer. I had contact with 5 different dealers to buy a car. There were extreme variations in how they took my lead on board and how they followed up. I know many companies struggling to respond to lead contacts from customers. They introduce rules on how to respond etc. so that the employees will follow up. For the truly customer relationship oriented company this will not be necessary. Do you agree?

There are plenty of other examples of good and bad company/ employees to customer emotional connections. Perhaps you have one to share?

Related blogs and articles:!!